Tracy-Ann Oberman, the actor who played Chrissie in EastEnders, once refused to wear a crucifix for the part. They didn't realise she is Jewish: "I said: 'I am not doing that. My mum would have a heart attack. I would have thought it was blindingly obvious, if only from my curly hair," she told jCast, for the Jewish Community Centre with the Jewish Chronicle.Would the Guardian be so approving of a Christian actor who refused to play a Jewish character? Since when has having curly hair been an infallible sign that you are Jewish?
Beyond that, this shows a strange attitude towards the acting profession. I remember that Thora Hird once became exasperated with an interviewer who insisted on exploring the parallels between her own life and the lonely characters she played in Alan Bennett's monologues.
"I pretend, love," she finally said. "It's what they pay me for."